Tehillim Eighty-One: Rosh Chodesh

“Sound the shofar on the New Moon, on the appointed time for the day of our festival (Psalms 81:4).” The New Moon, a monthly holiday called rosh chodesh in Hebrew, is a day with biblical origins that marks the head of each new month. It’s been observed since the times of the Temple, and recently, it’s gone through something of a renaissance. When I was growing up, I was honestly usually disappointed to find out it was rosh chodesh. It meant an extra prayer, said while standing, during Shabbat services, and I didn’t get the big deal of marking every month, over and over again. Priorities – let’s get to lunch sooner people!

But as I’ve grown up, rosh chodesh has come to represent something very powerful for me. It’s been ‘reclaimed’ so to speak, as a holiday for women, and worldwide, Jewish women come together monthly in groups that mark the changing cycles of the moon. I’ve been involved in one of these groups for about a year, and it’s provided me with an amazing cohort of peers to check in with through a mindful Jewish lens. It’s amazing to see what our tradition has in it, waiting for us to find personal meaning and value in its depths.


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